Watch the moment Colin catches the pigeon on a government Zoom call
A research officer called Colin Pidgeon caused laughter among politicians at Stormont when his cat presented him with a bird of the same name.
The Public Finance and Economics researcher was appearing remotely before the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Finance Committee when his pet delivered the live pigeon into his house.
Mr Pidgeon handled the avian interruption with calm assurance, swiftly capturing the seemingly unscathed bird and returning it out of the window to more familiar surrounds.
The episode lit up an otherwise run-of-the-mill afternoon briefing to committee members.
“I have literally just caught a pigeon, I’m really sorry about this,” he informed Assembly members watching from the Senate Chamber of Parliament Buildings in Belfast.
Wanting to get a better view of proceedings, DUP MLA and deputy committee chairman Paul Frew, wryly asked the Assembly broadcasters to expand his quadrant of the TV to full-screen mode.
UUP leader and committee chairman Steve Aiken tried to offer some advice.
“Colin, go and put the pigeon outside, we’ll skip that question, you just go and put the pigeon outside,” he suggested.
Mr Pidgeon confirmed the bird appeared to be unharmed, saying: “It flew off so the cat hasn’t killed it.”
Mr Frew was not so confident about the pigeon’s prospects.
“We’ll know what type of soup you’re eating tonight, Colin,” he joked.
Once Mr Pidgeon returned to his seat, he was offered universal praise for how he dealt with the unexpected visitor.
“Congratulations Colin, well done,” said Mr Aiken.
Mr Frew added: “You kept your composure the whole way through that – amazing.”
Mr Pidgeon offered an assurance to the committee that it was not a regular occurrence in his household.
“I’ve never been interrupted by wildlife before,” he insisted.